Roses Discount Store / Broken item; poor customer service
i went shopping this afternoon (saturday) @ rose's discount store located at homestead market s/c, 105 w nc 54, ste 287, durham, nc.
i am physically disabled (progressive multiple sclerosis) & i have a small diabetic alert service dog.
i bought a number of items in this store several items of clothing, xmas wrapping paper, etc. & there were a number of large items; a large stuffed animal (gift), a faux poinsettia; a wreath for my front door, there were other items as well. one of the things i purchased was a small glass angel statue for a gift.
the cashier was very impatient with me. she scolded me for putting too many items on the counter, as she rang the larger items up she kept handing them telling me to put them on walker. i could not do this because my wallet, my jacket, my credit cards, etc. are all in the walker basket.
as i watched the cashier hastily throw my items in a large plastic bag she took the glass angel statue (a special gift for a special friend) & just tossed it into the bag along with the clothes.
at that point i told her to "stop". i explained that if she put the statue into the bag that way it was going to break - she made a face but didn't do anything about it.
i told her to wrap it up or instead of being a gift it was going to be garbage. she really seemed annoyed when i said this. she took a smaller plastic bag & put the glass angel into it; the bag was a little larger than the glass angel statue & she sort of wrapped the excess bag around the glass angel statue. she ignored me when i told her i did not think it was safe.
when all was said & done i had the wreath, the poinsettia & the stuffed animal jammed into the basket of my walker & a very large bag with mostly clothing, the glass angel statue & some other items in it. then there was a smaller bag with a few household items in it.
i barely made it to my hand-controlled car in the parking lot. once at my car i had to unload everything out of my walker on the sidewalk in order to be able to get my jacket & put it on (it was really cold out) & i had to get my car keys which were in the walker basket - along with the jacket under all the stuff. i finally got the car opened & got everything loaded; strapped my service dog into her car seat & came home.
once at home all of this stuff had to be taken into my apartment but now i had the luxury of making several trips; i live on the 1st floor. i bought a few pairs of lounge pants; having lost a lot of weight since last year i needed a smaller size.
this evening i retrieved the rose's discount bags from the guest room where i put them when i brought them in the house. i started taking the items out; putting the things away, looking for the lounge pants so i could change & settle in for the evening. at the very bottom of the large bag that contained most of the clothes was - the glass angel statue - broken!
i knew it was going to break but the cashier didn't give a damn! the statue only cost $1.99 - it really isn't the price but the constant disrespect i face as a person with a disability in many of the retail establishments in north carolina.
i do things slowly; my hands are affected by the ms as badly (sometimes worse) than my legs. i find if i do things slowly & systematically i am successful.
because this cashier was impatient, was rushing me & i was forced to place things in my walker haphazardly & hang other things on the walker handles the entire process of getting from the cash register to my car was made far more difficult than it needed to be.
i have used a walker for over 20 years! during this time, i have purchased a hundred or more items that would be considered "fragile" - 98% of the time none of those items were broken in the process of putting them in my vehicle & taking them home.
i knew that in order to preserve the glass angel statue & bring it home in tact so i could give it to my friend as a gift it needed to be "wrapped" in a way that it would not be broken. caution should have been taken by the cashier especially when i pointed out to her that the glass angel statue was fragile & care needed to be taken.
this is the information from the receipt: 11/12/2016 15:51:16 reg 005 till539 trn8349 store number 428 cashier veronica - the total of my items purchased (on mastercard) was $79.44.
i have lived in durham for almost 2 years (i am originally from ny) i found rose's discount stores when i 1st moved down here. during the year i do not go shopping frequently as i am on a fixed income but during the holidays rose's discount stores is one of my "go-to" stores for holiday shopping.
as i seem to be constantly explaining to retail managers, district managers etc. "disability etiquette" & "disability empathy" is something that needs to be part of every new employee training program.
one of the main things in this training that needs to be stressed is that people with disabilities are just like everyone else & pretty much want the same things.
yes, there are certain things i cannot do - i don't think i will ever run a marathon or climb mount everest but i can do many things that people without disabilities can do; i just do things more slowly; more methodically & sometimes i need adaptive equipment to help me complete my task.
another important thing people in retail need to learn about people with disabilities is "patience". you may be in a hurry; you may have a way of doing things; perhaps you have been extra busy; it is near the end of your shift whatever but "be patient". when i (or another disabled person) explains that they need to do things a certain way (ie: loading my walker) ok it may take a little more of your time but - be patient & please - be kind.
i do not like being disabled - this is not the life i envisioned for myself growing up but i have learned to adapt.
i drive a car (with hand controls), i do most of my own shopping (have groceries delivered) - go out to restaurants frequently to eat etc.
i will be 55 years old on 11/30/16 i have had multiple sclerosis since i was 22 years old; it has gotten worse over the years; about 18 years ago i had to stop working; i was an addictions counselor working with mentally ill chemically addicted adults.
i can sit in my house all the time & tell social services "find someone to take care of me" but i don't do that. i am an active part of my community. i am also trying to start my own business; disability advocacy & support services = esperanzaenterprises http://www.esperanzaenterprises.org/
i do not know what if anything rose's discount stores can do to correct my current problem - other than replace the broken glass angel statue but i seriously hope that you will consider implementing changes to your new employee orientation to include "disability etiquette" & "disability empathy" (also i had no problems in rose's discount store with my service dog but i have had many problems in other retail establishments, restaurants etc. - this should be included in the new employee orientation as well) these suggestions should not just be implemented on the level of the cashiers & sales people but the managers, assistant managers & district managers as well.
i would be more than glad to speak to your staff any time; that is part of the outreach efforts of esperanzaenterprises.
in closing let me provide you with my contact information (fb allows limited information about me).
my name is peg meerkatz i reside at 5112 copper ridge drive #101 durham nc 277o7 my home phone number is: [protected] & my personal email address is: [protected]@aol.com.
i trust that you will take into account everything that i have suggested here & that in the future i will have a more pleasant shopping experience at rose's discount stores.
thank you for your time & attention.